This fresh tomato sauce is super simple & easy to make, with only three ingredients – tomatoes, salt, and olive oil! Of course, you can add basil, garlic, mushrooms, parmesan, or meat. But with fresh tomatoes from your garden, it’s nice that you don’t have to add those things to make a tomato sauce that tastes *chef kissing fingers motion* molto bene.
The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to process it in a blender or food mill. The seeds are there, but they’re hardly noticeable, and it definitely beats cleaning a food mill!
With only three ingredients, you want to make sure each one is stellar.
For the tomatoes, go for a plum or Roma variety. You want a tomato that has a lot of flesh instead of water, seeds, and gel. I bring my nearly-ripe tomatoes inside and let them ripen on the counter (not in a direct window light). And, if you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand just use high-quality whole peeled canned tomatoes.
Cheap olive oil is notoriously cut with other oils or rancid, so I’d recommend checking the bottle for a quality seal, make sure the bottle is dark glass and that it’s not expired. You can check against this list while shopping, or see if you can do a taste test before buying the whole bottle. It should taste good on its own!
I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt in all of my cooking, but if you use a different type of salt just start with one teaspoon and add more at the end if necessary.
For video instructions, check out my Instagram story highlight with this recipe in it!Print
Fresh Tomato Sauce
This fresh tomato sauce is super simple & easy to make, with only three ingredients – tomatoes, salt, and olive oil!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: American, Italian
- 4.5 lbs fresh plum or Roma tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil (the best quality you can afford)
- The first step is blanching the tomatoes so the skins come off easily, which is a process of boiling the tomatoes for under a minute and then transferring them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Set a large pot of water on your stovetop and bring it to a boil. It can take 20 minutes for the water to heat up, so do that first! Rinse your tomatoes and take off the stems. Cut a little “x” on the bottom of each one.
Prep the ice bath (don’t forget to leave enough room in your bowl for the tomatoes!) and then boil the tomatoes in batches for between 30 and 60 seconds, or until the skins start to come off.
The tomatoes should peel super easily. Remove all the skins and transfer the tomatoes into a large pot and add salt to help the tomatoes release all their juices!
Simmer over medium heat for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally and using two wooden spoons to smash the tomato chunks as they break down. Remove any pieces that aren’t breaking down well, like the bit of the tomato where the stem was. You can cut this out prior to cooking, but doing it at this stage seems to reduce wasted tomato and save time.
Add the olive oil and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Taste your tomato sauce and add more salt if necessary. I consider my sauce done when it’s not too watery, and the consistency is similar to sauce from a store-bought jar. Enjoy your fresh tomato sauce right away over pasta, in zucchini lasagna (my favorite!), refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze it for up to four months!